Effect of bentonite addition on the optical properties of different polymeric composites materials

ABSTRACT In this work, composite materials were obtained by the incorporation of bentonite to biodegradable and synthetic polymeric matrices. Commercial (BE) and natural (BM) bentonite samples were employed, as well as three different polymeric matrices: thermoplastic corn starch (TPS), high density polyethylene (HDPE) and a poly(styrene-b-butadiene-b-styrene) triblock copolymer (SBS). Composite materials were obtained by incorporating 5 % w/w filler by melt mixing. Films were obtained by thermo-compression in a hydraulic press. By Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) it were examined the homogeneity and appearance of films. Opacity and UV barrier capacity were determined from the UV-vis spectra recorded in a spectrophotometer. Film color measurements were performed using a colorimeter in the transmittance mode, recording parameters L, a, and b. From SEM micrographs, a good filler distribution in the three different matrices were observed. The addition of bentonite modified the optical properties of films due to their blocking effect, evidenced in an increase in both UV barrier capacity and opacity.